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Five Documents You Must Update After DivorceChanging your marital status back to single has a wide-spread impact on various documents and forms of identification related to your life. There is a long list of updates that you will need to make, though many of them can wait until after you have completed your divorce. Failing to make these updates can cause confusion that will be more difficult to fix after the fact. You should write a list of documents that you need to update, which may include the following:

  1. Estate Plan: If you created a will or trust for after your death, your former spouse is likely the primary beneficiary. It is your choice whether your spouse should be completely cut out of the estate plan, but you likely want to change it from what you decided during your marriage. If you die before updating your estate plan, your former spouse and your family may get in a legal battle about who you intended to inherit your assets.
  2. Power of Attorney: An estate plan may include documents naming the person with the power of attorney over your health and financial decisions in the event that you are incapable of making your own decisions. Once again, your former spouse likely has this authority if the documents were created or updated during your marriage. You need to decide who should have the power of attorney instead.
  3. Life Insurance: You likely do not want your former spouse to benefit from your life insurance policy in the event of your death, but some divorcees still keep their former spouses as part of the policy. Life insurance could compensate your former spouse for spousal maintenance payments that you would no longer make after your death. If you want your children to be the sole beneficiaries of your life insurance, you may need to name your co-parent as the custodian of that money if the children are minors at the time of your death.
  4. Health Insurance: If you were previously on your spouse’s health insurance policy, you will need to sign up for your own insurance. If your spouse was previously on your insurance, you may be able to change your family plan to a single adult plan if you have no children or your children will be on your former spouse’s plan.
  5. Change of Address: If you have left your marital home, you need to update your permanent address with the state, such as on your driver’s license or state ID. You will also need to change your address on other accounts that include an address.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer

Getting a divorce is a complicated process with as many small changes as there are big changes. A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you create a to-do-list for during and after your divorce. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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Life Insurance Can Secure Spousal MaintenanceYou and your spouse may have paid for life insurance during your marriage to financially protect each other in case one of you died. Now that you are getting divorced, what you need from a life insurance plan has changed. It makes sense to remove your spouse as a life insurance beneficiary because you do not want him or her to profit from your death. You can make your children the sole beneficiaries of the plan or cancel the plan if you do not have children. However, keeping a former spouse as a life insurance beneficiary can provide financial backing for spousal maintenance payments after a divorce.

Monetary Security

A court awards spousal maintenance when one spouse was reliant on the other to pay for their accustomed standard of living. If you will receive maintenance after your divorce, being a beneficiary on your former spouse’s life insurance policy will assure that you will be financially supported in the event of his or her untimely death. Your former spouse may change the life insurance plan to reflect the fact that you are divorced, such as:

  • Reducing the benefits that you would receive so that it would be no greater than what you would be owed for spousal maintenance; and
  • Switching from a long-term plan to a short-term plan because the maintenance payments may be temporary.

Enforcing Life Insurance

A spousal maintenance payor may reject the suggestion of also paying for life insurance to benefit his or her ex-spouse. As long as the children are financially protected, the payor may not care about a former spouse’s financial security. As the maintenance recipient, you can request that the court require your former spouse to have you as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy. 

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